The Jay ’55 and Mimi Morsman Tennis Pavilion has been an anticipated addition to the tennis program for months. Unfortunately, delays have forced Deerfield’s tennis players to be patient entering the spring.
“Back in the winter when construction started, they were some delays and disagreements, so the project started later,” commented Athletic Director Bob Howe, on the progress of the roof. He added, “They’re behind schedule and they are working hard so we are able to use the facility. The team will be able to use the courts on April 9 as practice courts; the only issue is that the lighting is not finished yet.”
The pavilion has garnered anticipation for good reason. The ambitious construction project plans to put a roof over the first six courts and add radiant heat under the floors. It will also add a motorized roller screen system for walls surrounding the courts.
The finished product will allow the academy’s tennis program to practice through unpredictable weather in the spring. The JV Girls’ tennis team practiced under the pavilion due to rain. Unfortunately, their practice was hindered by the pavilion’s lack of lighting in its current state. “Right now, it’s unplayable,” said coach Anna Gonzales ’12. “You can’t see the ball coming at you.”
“I think having indoor tennis courts would encourage tennis players to continue practicing throughout the fall and winter, which would be beneficial for many of the early matches,” said Lisa Chen ‘18. She added, “A common restraint for students at Deerfield is time, and I think that having such an easily accessible indoor facility would be appealing to many tennis players.”
Girls varsity tennis coach Christian Austin said, “The roof will be a total game-changer … If we are able to attract good tennis players, this will be essential to strengthening the tennis program. Additionally, we would also be a more attractive site to host NEPSAC tournaments.”
There are many games in store for Deerfield tennis this season. The boys and girls look to repeat last year’s success at the New England tournament. Be sure to make your way to the tennis courts and support the players in action in the new tennis pavilion this spring!